Archive for the ‘Cajun Cookin’ Category

Duck and Oyster Gumbo

Duck and Oyster Gumbo
(serves 8 – 10)

2 wild ducks (2½ to 3 lbs. each), quartered
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. herbes de Provence
1 cup rendered duck fat or lard (or vegetable oil if you must)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb. andouille sausage, diced
½ lb. smoked pork sausage, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 qts. chicken or duck stock
2 cups oyster liquor
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. Creole seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 cups okra, diced (frozen works fine)
3 cups oysters
Tabasco sauce
1 quart cooked jasmine rice
½ cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Liberally season the ducks with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Slowly roast in preheated oven until most of the fat has rendered out and the skin is nice and crispy, about 2 hours. Remove the ducks from the oven, and reserve the fat. Once cool, pick all the meat and skin from the ducks, and cut into roughly 1½-inch pieces. Reserve.

To make the roux, heat 1 cup of reserved duck fat (or lard) in a pot over medium heat, add the flour, and allow it to slowly cook to a light golden brown. This should take about ½ hour. Adjust heat if necessary (if cooking too fast) and allow the roux to further brown, stirring often, until it resembles the color of milk chocolate. This should take approximately another 5 minutes. Stir in the onions, and cook until the roux takes on a deep dark chocolate color. This should take another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the duck, celery, sausages, and garlic, and cook to combine for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock, oyster liquor, Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, bay leaves, and okra, and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until flavors marry, occasionally skimming the fat that rises to the top, about 1½ hours.

Add the oysters, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Season the gumbo to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Serve over rice in a large flat soup bowl, and garnish with chopped green onions.

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Catfish Stew

(Photos by Margaret Houston)

(Photo by Margaret Houston)


3 slices smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. paprika
¼ tsp. pinch celery seed
1 bay leaf
A pinch of sugar
¼ cup Texas Pete hot sauce
2 lb. catfish filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste


Add bacon to a stewpot over medium heat and cook until rendered and crisp. Then add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and continue to cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, the next 6 ingredients, and 1½ cups of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then add a few pieces of catfish and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until both catfish and vegetables are very tender. Add the rest of the catfish, and continue to cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is flaky. Season with salt and pepper, and serve in bowls over rice.

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Cajun Girls Crawfish Étouffée

Recipe and Recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Recipe and Recipe by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

1 pound crawfish tails, with fat
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 medium – large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons bell pepper, minced
1/2 stalk celery, minced
Green onion tops
Fresh parsley
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 14.5 can of Fire Roasted tomatoes
Cayenne pepper or Creole Spice to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 – 2 cups water (add 1 tablespoon of Lobster Base for awesome flavor)

Melt butter in pot, add flour and stir. Add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook until tender, and keep stirring. Add crawfish fat, if possible, and cook down 10-15 minutes. Add tails, crushed fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste, then add water to desired thickness or thinness. Cook down for 20 minutes or so on low. Add salt and peppers to taste. Cook a few more minutes, then add chopped green onion tops and parsley and cook till ready.

Top with a service of white Rice and garnish with finely chopped Parsley, Green Onions or Chives!

Yield: 4 to 6
Note: This is a very hearty Crawfish Étouffée! I doubled the amount of crawfish for a serving of 4 to 6! You don’t have to use as much as I do. Also, if you cook it low and slow, you won’t even need the Roux! Just add the butter straight to the mix and skip the flour and roux making….

Grilled Louisiana Sweet Potato



4 to 6 Louisiana Sweet Potatoes

Salt to taste

Butter to taste


Scrub potatoes clean, no need to prick holes in them, the are not as dense as a white baking potato! Place on cooler side of a hot grill and turn them every few minutes until they are tender! You can also slice them down the middle longways which will speed up the grill process and you will get great grill marks on the cut side!

Pare with Boudin Stuffed Bell Peppers for a great Cajun Meal!

Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with Mushrooms!

Recipe and Photo by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Recipe and Photo by Carolyn Davidson Hicks

Sausage links (Andouille) grill for deeper flavor, then slice on the bias
1 cup of dehydrated mushrooms (mixed is better)
1 cup  of Cajun Trinity with Garlic (Dehydrated Vegetable Blend)
12 oz bag of Cajun Spicy Jambalaya mix, cook according to directions (includes rice and cajun spices)
1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
1. Cook the dehydrated vegetables and mushrooms together on medium to high heat in water until tender and hydrated (drain)
2. Cook rice according to directions
3. Add everything into the pot .
4. Cook until heated through.
5. Garnish with fresh green onions and try Louisiana Hot Sauce for a little kick!

Creole Turtle Étouffée


Recipe and Photo By Carolyn Davidson Hicks!

Recipe and Photo By Carolyn Davidson Hicks!

Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 3 quarts)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds turtle meat, cleaned and finely chopped
4 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (about 1 cup)
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup diced celery
3 quarts of chicken stock
1/2 cup dark brown (the color of chocolate) roux
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Creole Spice (more to taste)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon or dry sherry (or more according to personal taste) for deglazing!

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the turtle with salt and black pepper. Add the meat and brown evenly, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the meat to a platter. Cover lightly and set aside.

Deglaze with wine.  Add all vegetables to the same pan and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are al dente, about 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the bay leaves and the garlic and the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Carefully whisk in the roux and return to a boil over medium-high heat.

Add the lemon zest and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Longer for a slow cooker! 4 to 6 hours!

Garnish with chopped green onions or torn parsley leaves!


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